Anchorage Assembly investigates after municipal manager fired

Former city manager Amy Demboski claims mayor executed contracts in violation of law and city charter
Anchorage Assembly members are taking action after the sudden termination of the city’s municipal manager.
Published: Dec. 21, 2022 at 5:11 PM AKST|Updated: Dec. 21, 2022 at 5:36 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Anchorage Assembly members are taking action after the sudden termination of the city’s municipal manager.

On Monday, Amy Demboski says she was given the opportunity to either resign with a letter of recommendation or be terminated. On Tuesday she told Alaska’s News Source that she chose to be terminated because she did nothing wrong, and believes that Mayor Dave Bronson fired her in retaliation for sending him an email addressing serious code violations and a hostile work environment.

In that email, Demboski refers to “errors on contracts” and “contracts that were executed in violation of code.”

Now the Assembly is questioning how many city contracts were granted without proper approval.

Assembly Chair Suzanne LaFrance said Demoski’s allegations of misconduct involving public funds is something the Assembly takes very seriously and has a responsibility to investigate.

“I would like an explanation. How do you account for what the municipal, the former municipal manager, is saying, how do you explain to the people in our community what is going on in this administration,” Assembly Chair Suzanne LaFrance said. “We have seen some other actions by the administration in the past — shutting off fluoride, proceeding with the $5 million illegal contract with Hickel that, you know, make me really want to hear from the mayor.”

Assembly members say, at this point, they’re exploring their options and don’t know if they’ll call for an outside investigation or conduct an internal audit.

“It’s been very frustrating,” Assembly Vice Chair Chris Constant said. “When you try to work with the administration and you have olive branch after olive branch but what you get back is a lack of communication and incomplete work or just circumventing the process altogether, and that is pretty outrageous.”

At 5:20 p.m. Bronson’s spokesperson Hans Rodvik issued a statement, which said in part:

“The Mayor disputes the claim by Assembly leadership that the MOA is on strong financial footing. As the appropriating body and “stewards of the municipal treasury” the Assembly’s reckless spending has caused the MOA to be downgraded by credit rating agencies twice in recent years. Additionally, due to the Assembly’s actions, the MOA is still waiting on roughly $80 million of reimbursements from FEMA. The MOA’s auditors, BDO, have briefed the Assembly that this level of spending is unsustainable,” the statement said. “The Mayor has no comment as it relates to the personnel matter concerning former Municipal Manager Amy Demboski.”

This story has been updated with Bronson’s statement.